Seriously. I'm 27. I won't see Social Security benefits for half a century. But I pay payroll taxes (actually Self Employment Taxes, because I have my own small business, a REAL small business). Anyway, I think Social Security needs a major reform effort. But not the way selfish (why don't we use this word more often?) conservatives and deficit-hawks think. Retirement-aged people deserve MORE benefits.
Personally, my spending priorities are economic growth, low income safety net, national defense, and everything else ... in that order. At some point, people are too aged to work. At that point you are almost certainly "low income." Nothing has diminished retirement-aged poverty more than Social Security - except for maybe Medicare.
So, this is a high priority. The government (by which I mean, society, by which I mean, America) should provide a livable income for ALL senior citizens. This isn't radical. This patriotic guarantee can't be radical if it's 79 years old. It can't be radical if there is virtually no one who can remember a world without Social Security.
Right now Social Security benefits simply don't meet that standard. But, it's good economic policy, good social policy, and, quite frankly, is the Christian thing to do:
25 And one day an authority on the law stood up to put Jesus to the test. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to receive eternal life?”
26 What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?”
27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ”
If God loves my elderly Grandparents and there whole generation - I should love them too. I would support my Grandparents, as America should support our retirement-aged Americans. That government is involved doesn't excuse us from our moral duty.
So, yes. Mr. Obama, Mr. Boehner, et al. We do need Social Security reform (and maybe even Medicare reform, although the program seems fine to me). We need to bridge the gap between OUR commitments and OUR promises.
Silly, immoral gimmicks like "chained-CPI" represent an abandonment of our most vulnerable Americans. It's not American, and it's not Christian. It's just dumb.
(P.S. - advocating for more money to old people, who are really, really good at voting, might be good politics - pass this along to the White House)